Cooperative of Photography

Carlo Cruz's urban bboy project


Photo: Carlo Cruz

Carlo Cruz is an LA street photographer who shoots an ongoing series of bboys in urban locations. We caught up with him to discover more about this project.  

How did you get into photographing bboys? 
My cousin got me started shooting bboys back in 2000. He was a bboy himself and I remember watching countless hours of bboy footages with him then. One time him and his friends decided to make a bboy video and invited me to shoot stills for them - and that’s how it started. 

It must be tough to shoot bboys… Any tips? 
I have yet to meet a bboy that’s not cool. All of them are accommodating and kind - maybe that’s one reason I enjoy photographing them. Anyway, just like any other subject, it takes some practice and a little bit of luck. The more prepared you are the easier it gets I suppose! Doing a little research on the bboy/s definitely helps - knowing his moves and what he’s comfortable with makes it easy. 

You manage to shoot at some cool locations. How do you find them?
Location plays an important factor when I’m shooting bboys. I think it’s one factor that bridges the gap between a bboy and a regular viewer. Unfortunately, scouting for location is a luxury not all street photographers have. You try to coordinate with your subject if they know a place you can shoot but then it’s always unpredictable - BUT I think that’s one factor that makes it fun! The challenge of making great photos with elements beyond your control. 

You’re putting together a book, when can we expect it?
Over the years, I’ve accumulated thousands of photos of bboys from all over. Right now, I have enough photos to finish the book but I would love to finish it by shooting some bboys in Asia particularly in the Philippines – as I was born there. I used to be very eager about finishing it but over time, I realized that I needed to take my time. The zen of patience makes it worthwhile. 

You want more? Of course you do. Head over to Carlo's site to see more awesome images.  

Written by Matthew Rycroft

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